Spaniards survive Camacho blunders
Jeev slips five slots on Day 3
New coach wants Indians to be ‘nasty’
Bhupathi, Mirnyi lose in final
In The City
Bangalore Races/ ‘Square’ wins Colts Stakes

 
 
SPANIARDS SURVIVE CAMACHO BLUNDERS 
 
 
BY P.K. BANERJEE
 
June 16: 
The World Cup woke up to nerve-wracking action with golden goal, tie-breaker and another upset in Senegal’s ouster of Sweden, while Spain scraped through. But soccer came alive with a dazzling display of aggression by Senegal. Later, Spain almost paid for a pair of substitution errors before escaping a late Ireland fightback.

If Sweden thought life would be easier after topping the Group of Death, they forgot Senegal were spoiling for a fight. The Swedes started favourites and an early lead seemed to justify the billing. Only, the Dakar Lions came roaring back. It was a riveting match, which could have swung either way but in the end, African rhythm prevailed over the copybook European style.

The Swedes are technically accomplished and the traditional European know-how of protecting the early advantage was expected to carry them ahead when they struck in the 11th minute. What followed, however, left them shell-shocked. The feature of Senegal’s conquest of France was defensive discipline but Sweden discovered the Africans could pack bite and variety in their attacks, when stung.

It was an amazing exhibition of athleticism, skill, power and speed as Senegal tore into the Swedes and forced them into their defensive third for almost the entire first half. Senegal’s domination was marked by their ability to caress the ball with almost every corner of the boot and this added the element of surprise to their raids. They kept the ball mostly on the ground, which helped them reach the striking zone with minimum touches, and invaded the Swedish half at great speed.

Rattled by the onslaught, the Swedes committed a tactical blunder and brought everyone down, allowing Senegal space in the middle-third. They needed a defensive screen much ahead of the line they actually had and this helped Senegal take control of the centre. This was the defining moment of the game as Senegal started growing in confidence with each attack and started believing they could breach the defence that blocked Argentina out of the tournament.

Sweden should have followed the ploy adapted by England against Denmark, but didn’t change their plan according to the situation. They were a lot more positive in the second half and also got chances to score, but by then, the psychological edge had been conceded.

Spain, meanwhile, scraped through after making a near mess of their early lead. They looked unnecessarily defensive in the second half against an Ireland side that was inferior to them in talent. It seemed as if Spain were out to prove why they are notorious chokers, but goalkeeper Iker Casillas’ timely penalty blocks kept the Irish from snatching a famous comeback win.

Spanish coach Jose Antonio Camacho made a blunder by taking off in-form strikers Raul and Morientes while they were still a goal ahead. The Irish defence was under pressure in their presence and they started breathing easy after the twin substitution. It was Spain who were forced to defend after this and the absence of the experienced strikers took away the edge from their counterattacks.

   

 
 
JEEV SLIPS FIVE SLOTS ON DAY 3 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, June 16: 
The third round was not too kind for India’s Jeev Milkha Singh Sunday as he struggled with his irons and bad luck in the third round of the 102nd US Open championship in Farmingdale, New York, falling down five slots to 65th.

Jeev posted his third successive round of 75 for an aggregate of 15-over 225, according to information reaching here.

Tiger Woods continued to lead, despite shooting the worst round of tournament — a level-par 70. His three-day tally of five-under 205 gave him a four-stroke advantage over the second-placed Sergio Garcia, who added a three-under 67 to aggregate one-under 209. Phil Mickelson and Jeff Maggert were tied for third at par 210.

While it was his iron-play that caused him most of the troubles, the fact remained that three of the six bogeys came after his ball got plugged in the bunker.

“I have never had such terrible luck with the bunkers. Yesterday, twice I got plugged ‘lies’, and I made double bogeys on both the holes. Today, the ball got plugged on three holes.

“However, the truth of the matter is that I played badly today. If I could have controlled my irons better, I would have never gone into the bunkers.”

Jeev started the day with two solid pars, before getting his first ‘fried egg’ in the front bunker of the par-3 third hole. On the par-5 fourth, he missed a four-footer for birdie.

On the sixth, he had a buried lie in the bunker again for his second bogey. On the very next hole, he went to the rough on the right of the green and failed to make his up-and-down from there.

On the back nine, Jeev made bogeys on the 11th and 15th. His only birdie of the day came on the par-4 16th, where he hit a 9-iron to eight feet and sank his putt. The very next hole, he had his third plugged lie of the day and that accounted for his sixth bogey.

Woods gave his pursuers a big chance to catch up with him, and then decided to step on the gas. He made bogeys on the fifth and 11th, but that was all. With birdies on the 15th and 17th, he just pulled away.

Woods began waywardly fashion, missing fairway on his opening two holes. However, his power helped him come out of the rough and on to the green in regulation and make his pars.

   

 
 
NEW COACH WANTS INDIANS TO BE ‘NASTY’ 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, June 16: 
Stephen Constantine, the newly-appointed English coach of the Indian football team, wants to infuse the “nasty” European attitude that is lacking in the Asians.

“There is nothing called a 50-50 ball, if it’s mine, it’s mine,” said Constantine during a tete-a-tete with scribes Sunday afternoon. “To fulfil their goal, the European players don’t hesitate to be nasty.”

Constantine wants the Indians to be “nasty” instead of being “nice”.

He felt the performance of Senegal in the ongoing World Cup is not a flash in the pan. “It is the culmination of a proper process and I don’t see why India will not reach that level if they go through the right sort of grooming,” the coach said.

Constantine will be in charge of the Indian squad that will train in Jamshedpur from July 6 for the Vietnam tour and the Pusan Asian Games. It wasn’t made clear, though, how long his assignment will last.

Constantine, who has a Greek father and a British mother, donned the colours of AEL club in Cyprus and then coached English second division side Portsmouth FC and also the Nepal national team for a couple of years.

AIFF secretary Alberto Colaco informed that Constantine, a Fifa instructor, will have sessions with Indian coaches including clubs of the National Football League.

When asked whether the soccer team will get clearance to compete in the Asian Games, Colaco said: “We did well in the World Cup qualifiers and that will help us get permission. Priya Ranjan Das Munshi has already had a talk regarding the matter.”

A list of 30 under-23 players has been chosen and will be announced after the process of age verification. Four over-23 players — Bhaichung Bhutia, Jo Paul Ancheri, Virender Singh and Khalid Jamil — will be called of whom two will be chosen.

Players’ status committee

Meanwhile, Debjit Ghosh’s fate now is in the hands of the newly-formed players’ status committee of the federation. Colaco said there is confusion over the inter-state transfers of 30 players.

Accordingly, the players’ status committee has been formed, though details were not available.

The AIFF secretary added it will entirely up to the players to decide which state they would represent in the Santosh Trophy. Colaco said if a player wants to play for his home state, despite being professionally active in another, he will be allowed to do so.

   

 
 
BHUPATHI, MIRNYI LOSE IN FINAL 
 
 
BY A STAFF REPORTER
 
Calcutta, June 16: 
Mahesh Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi made the final of the Stella Artois grasscourt meet final at London’s Queen’s Club before bowing to Wayne Black and Kevin Ullyett.

According to information received here, Bhupathi and Mirnyi lost 5-7, 3-6 to the fourth-seeded Zimbabwean pair Sunday. Earlier in the day, the Indo-Belarussian duo had upset top seeds Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor 6-4, 7-6 (7-4). Rain ruled out the semi-final Saturday.

In the quarter finals, Bhupathi and Mirnyi got the better of American wild cards Mardy Fish and Jeff Morrison 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 6-3, while Leander Paes and Michael Llodra lost 5-7, 3-6 to Knowles and Nestor.

YMCA snooker

Sanjiv Sahai defeated A.K. Yadav 96-84 in the quarter finals of the YMCA (Chowringhee) handicap snooker championship Sunday. Other semi-finalists are Rakesh Gupta, Miraj Alam and Rahul Hodkhasa.

Other results

Tarun Gupta bt David Bose, Ali Akbar bt Kaushal Dimbadia, Md Sajid bt S. Parikh, Sanjiv Sahai bt U. Basu, Sunil Maheswari bt Afzal, AK Yadav bt Naresh Kilwani, Abhishek Sharma bt B. Pradhan, Intikhab Ahmed bt P. Shroff, akbar Ali bt Tarun Gupta, Sanjiv Sahai bt Md Sajid, A.K. Yadav bt Sunil Maheswari, Sanjiv Sahai bt Akbar Ali, Abhishek Sharma bt Intikhab Ahmed, A.K. Yadav bt Abhishek Sharma.

   

 
 
IN THE CITY 
 
 
 
June 16: 

TODAY IN SPORT

SNOOKER: YMCA Handicap Snooker meet, semis and final (YMCA Chowringhee, 6:30 pm)

   

 
 
BANGALORE RACES/ ‘SQUARE’ WINS COLTS STAKES 
 
 
BY TITAN BOY
 
Bangalore, June 16: 
Ridden by Pesui Shroff, the D. Byramji-trained Portman Square won the Colts Trial Stakes in Bangalore on Sunday.

results

(With inter-state dividends)

1. Mauritius Pearl Stakes 1,200m: (7-4-8) Burning Roma (J. Shukla) 1; Xorra 2; Bacardi Star 3. Won by: Nk; 8-3/4; (1-16.9). Tote: Win Rs 39; Place: 14; 14; 13; Quinella: 44; Shp: 45; Tanala: 228. Fav: Xorra (4).

2. Galilee Plate, Div-II 1,400m: (2-1-5) Star Strider (Prakash) 1; Falconet 2; Dancing Clear 3. Won by: 7-1/4; SH; (1-28). Tote: Win Rs 11; Place: 11; 21; 31; Quinella: 43; Shp: 47; Tanala: 330. Fav: Star Strider (2).

3. His Majesty Plate 1,200m: (5-4-1) Tide of Fortune (Prakash) 1; Fast Trick 2; Sunraj 3. Won by: 8; 10; (1-13.7). Tote: Win Rs 33; Place: 13; 12; 20; Quinella: 20; Shp: 44; Tanala: 213. Fav: Fast Trick (4).

4. Rajah S. R. K. Ranga Row Memorial Cup 1,600m: (3-1-12) Ashleen (C. Alford) 1; Star Alone 2; Anzac 3. Won by: 3-1/4; 2; (1-41). Tote: Win Rs 44; Place: 14; 21; 58; Quinella: 106; Shp: 46; Tanala: 2,811. Fav: Ashleen (3).

5. Colts Trial Stakes 1,600m: (3-8-1) Portman Square (Shroff) 1; Superior Force 2; Royal Force 3. Won by: 4-3/4; 5-3/4; (1-39). Tote: Win Rs 63; Place: 15; 11; 20; Quinella: 53; Shp: 38; Tanala: 707. Fav: Superior Force (8).

6. Chamundi Hill Cup 1,400m: (9-7-2) Accede (Prakash) 1; Regal Society 2; Augill Castle 3. Won by: 6-1/2; 1-1/2; (1-27.3). Tote: Win Rs 15; Place: 13; 86; 27; Quinella: 300; Shp: 154; Tanala: 2,297. Fav: Accede (9).

7. Elusive Pimpernel Plate 1,100m: (7-2-1) Blush With Pride (Prakash) 1; Astigmatic 2; Startrix 3. Not run: Conquering Goddess (8). Won by: 1/2; 1-1/4; (1-9.6). Tote: Win Rs 109; Place: 35; 23; 18; Quinella: 476; Shp: 58; Tanala: 2,479. Fav: Superiority (9).

8. Galilee Plate, Div-I 1,400m: (2-6-3) Nationalistic (Prakash) 1; Spark of Love 2; Aerographer 3. Won by: 8; Nk; (1-28.8). Tote: Win Rs 16; Place: 12; 31; 28; Quinella: 150; Shp: 129; Tanala: 979. Fav: Nationalistic (2).

Jackpot: Rs 2,573; (C) Rs 613.

Treble: (i) Rs 127; (ii) Rs 919; (iii) Rs 144.

Our Calcutta Correspondent adds: A section of RCTC syces have struck work since Saturday following a dispute over the payment of variable dearness allowance. “Trainers are meeting syces on Monday and the matter will be sorted out soon,” said an RCTC source.

   
 

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